Mimi’s Café closed at St. Johns Town Center as the city reviews plans for the site’s conversion into Ida Claire, South of Ordinary, a Texas-based concept.
The Mimi’s signs were removed from the building at 10209 River Coast Drive. There was no posting on the front door, but the interior on Saturday morning appeared to be sparsely furnished.
Mimi’s acknowledged the closing Monday in a statement.
“As we assess where we are best positioned for long-term success as a brand, we made the difficult decision to close this location,” the statement said. “The Mimi’s family wants to thank our guests and team members for the great memories we’ve created together in Jacksonville.”
Dallas-based Mimi’s was approved for construction in April 2005 as part of the initial phase of St. Johns Town Center. The Mimi’s property is owned by a restaurant investment group.
Ida Claire, whose first location is in Dallas, is part of Front Burner Dining Group LLC. The group also owns Whiskey Cake, Haywire, Legacy Hall, Mexican Sugar, Sixty Vines, The Keeper and The Ranch. The restaurants primarily are in Texas with one in Oklahoma.
The Ida Claire plans in review show that the proposed conversion would include adding a 15-seat Airstream trailer within the outdoor patio area to be used for lounge seating and private dining.
The ida-claire.com site describes the restaurant as “an intriguing, southern-inspired destination for relaxing suppers, slow weekend brunching or a meeting hub for business lunches and happy hour.”
The frontburnerdiningroup.com site describes the climate-controlled private Airstream, for up to 12 guests, as “a funky and psychedelic dining experience.”
“We have been actively looking at sites for Whiskey Cake, Sixty Vines and Ida Claire in the Jacksonville area. No deal is inked yet, but this market is a natural move for us and one where our team feels particularly at home. We look forward to hopefully announcing something in the near future," said Steve Shlemon, CEO of Whiskey Cake Holdings, in February.
The Dallas Ida Claire serves breakfast, lunch and supper daily and weekend brunch. The bar offerings include cocktails, beer and wine.
While the Jacksonville plans are under review and no contractor is named, indicating a deal is not completed, there is a list of professionals on the plans as well as renderings.
The tenant is listed as Whiskey Cake Holdings of Dallas. The project architect is IDA – Innovation & Design in Architecture in Long Beach, California.
Wright Engineers Inc. of Chandler, Arizona, is the structural, mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineer. Upham Inc. of Ormond Beach is the civil and landscape consultant. There also are a food service consultant and signage contact.
The permit application shows an estimated $850,000 investment to alter and convert the restaurant. The work description is “alteration to convert Mimi’s restaurant to Ida Claire restaurant.”
Plans show that the renovations to Mimi’s would include remodeling the interior to open up the rooms and allow a view into the kitchen expo area and to relocate the bar to add operable windows to allow a pass-through to the patio.
The almost 7,500-square-foot building, on 1.23 acres also has patio space of about 1,000 square feet.
Another permit application was submitted for an $8,000 project to rework the patio area with a new deck and Airstream trailer and dining space.
Plans indicate seating in the dining areas, at the bar, on the patio and in the trailer.
LoopNet.com shows the Mimi’s property is under contract. The Shopping Center Group LLC is listing the site for $2.7 million.